A bracket buster is both a basketball fan’s biggest dream and biggest nightmare. Every year a few teams fly beneath the radar and shake up everyone’s bracket, bringing triumph to those lucky enough to predict it and dismay to those who didn’t. This year there are more than a few potential bracket busters, and in the front of that pack stands the Bucknell Bison.
After breezing through the regular season with a 28 – 5 record, Bucknell narrowly came away with the Patriot League title and earned themselves the 11th seed in the East Region of the big dance. They’ll face the Butler Bulldogs in the opening round of the tournament and if they win that they’ll move on to face the winner between Marquette and Davidson.
There’s a good chance they do.
Success in the big dance comes from momentum, and the Bison have momentum. Led by their 6-11 center Mike Muscala, who averaged 19 points and 11 rebounds per game, Bucknell heads into the tournament having won seven straight and 12 of their last 13. Butler, on the other hand, has lost three of their last seven.
Success also comes from a balanced attack. Including Muscala, four players on the Bison averaged more than 10 points per game during 2012. Combine that with a defense that held opponents to less than 60 points and 38 percent shooting, and you have a potent mix come tournament time.
Defensive minded with a balanced offense, Bucknell has the makings of a solid tournament team in 2013. If the Bison can get through Butler in the first round, they would have a good chance at beating the winner of Marquette and Davidson. If that happens, they could wreak some havoc deep into the tournament.
Don’t forget about them when you fill out your bracket.